politics

The Mountain West is a pretty conservative place. So when Democrats win here… it’s big news. And now two Democratic governors from the region are mulling a run for president.

Colorado’s John Hickenlooper and Montana’s Steve Bullock are both moderate progressives, both won in fairly conservative places, and both are kind of wonky.

“They’re not that person who can command a crowd,” Lee Banville, a political journalism professor at the University of Montana, says.

Brian Harrington

Democrat Mary Throne is hoping to become Wyoming's next governor. Throne was born and raised in Campbell County, growing up on a ranch on Wild Horse Creek. She's currently a Cheyenne attorney and for many years worked with the Department of Environmental Quality.

Throne is a former State Representative and Minority floor leader. She is facing Republican opponent Mark Gordon and others in the general election.

Our region has attracted the attention of the Terminator.

“I’m right now on a campaign to terminate gerrymandering,” said Arnold Schwarzenegger in a video from Budapest, where he’s shooting his latest film.  

Schwarzenegger is raising money for efforts in four states, including two in the Mountain West, to end the political practice.

We hear about gerrymandering a lot these days, but not necessarily an explanation for what it is. It’s complicated, but not impossible to explain.

The National Rifle Association has spent nearly $3 million so far in the 2018 election cycle. A big chunk of that change is centered on a race right here in the Mountain West.

If you’re poor and you get really sick in Idaho, your health care options might be really different than say, if you live in Colorado or Montana.

 


U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit

This week Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh faced a grilling in his Senate confirmations hearings, but those hearings haven't garnered many national headlines about his knowledge of western issues.


The University of Wyoming’s Haub School and the Ruckelshaus Institute recently celebrated 25 years of collaboration in solving problems concerning the environment, natural resources and energy issues. As part of the festivities, the school hosted a panel on civility with some of Wyoming’s most respected political figures: U.S. Senator Al Simpson, former Supreme Court Chief Justice Marilyn Kite, former U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director and State Senator John Turner and former Democratic Governor Mike Sullivan.

If the measure passes in November, the town of Golden, Colorado may join a handful of cities that allow 16-year-olds to vote in local elections. The idea is part of a growing conversation to lower the voting age for state and federal elections as well.

Cooper McKim

State Treasurer Mark Gordon won the Wyoming Republican Primary Election by seven percent of the vote. Some in the GOP who favored other candidates want to blame that on the possibility that Gordon attracted some Democrats who switched party affiliation the day of the primary. The other theory was that a large number of more conservative candidates split votes, which allowed Gordon to win. However, there's also the chance that Gordon, who came in as the favorite, was the preferred candidate.

Kristi Racines

Republican Kristi Racines will face Democrat Jeff Dockter in November to become the state auditor.

Tennessee Watson

Voters turned out in strong numbers for Wyoming’s 2018 primary election. Several counties reported a significant uptick in Republican voters and an increase in voters switching party affiliation.

In the August 21 primary election, Wyoming voters chose Mark Gordon as the Republican nominee for governor, Mary Throne as the Democratic nominee for governor, and congressional incumbents John Barrasso and Liz Cheney, among other races. Wyoming Public Radio news director Bob Beck joined Morning Edition Host Caroline Ballard to discuss the results and possible implications.

By Eden, Janine and Jim from New York City - Wikimedia Commons

What do you think about the idea of changing party registration on election day in the primary?

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State Treasurer Mark Gordon

State Treasurer Mark Gordon won the Republican nomination for governor with an unofficial seven percent victory over multi-millionaire Foster Friess. Cheyenne attorney Harriett Hageman finished third.

Gordon overcame a last-minute endorsement of Friess from President Trump and some negative attacks from other candidates to win. Gordon said he was surprised by the Trump endorsement, but at the end the day he said it didn’t matter.

Brian Harrington

Former State Representative Mary Throne won the Democratic nomination for Governor with over seventy percent of the vote in Tuesday’s primary race.

Greg Hunter

Democrat Greg Hunter will run against incumbent U.S. Congresswoman Liz Cheney in the general election in November. He won the Democratic nomination with 61 percent of the vote.

Wyoming Public Radio

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jillian Balow will run unopposed in the November general election. She’s already defined an agenda for her second term that includes implementing computer science, strengthening measures for post-secondary readiness and addressing school safety and security.

barrasso.senate.gov

Wyoming’s incumbent U.S. Senator John Barrasso beat out his closest rival with 60 percent of the vote to win the Republican nomination. Investor Dave Dodson took roughly 30 percent even though he poured a million dollars into his own campaign. Barrasso said he came out victorious because Wyomingites gave him credit for the positive direction of the economy.

curtmeierfortreasurer.com

State Senator Curt Meier won the Republican primary for Wyoming State Treasurer defeating fellow Senator Leland Christensen by five percent. With no Democratic candidate for treasurer, he’s entering November’s general election unopposed.

City of Laramie

Community leaders in Albany County have fingers crossed that voters will agree to renew a sixth penny tax. What's also referred to as a special purpose excise tax would pay for a host of infrastructure needs. Numerous counties also use such a tax in the state. 

People for and against abortion rights are watching what happens with President Trump’s nominee to fill an empty seat on the Supreme Court.

Anti-abortion groups including March for Life and National Right to Life Committee have commended the president’s choice, Brett Kavanaugh, whose Senate confirmation hearings are set to begin in early September. Abortion-rights advocates worry that adding a perceived conservative justice like Kavanaugh will tip the court’s scales when it comes to views on abortion, opening up the possibility that a 1973 Supreme Court case protecting that right might be overturned.

State of Wyoming

A longtime state senator said his experience as a liaison to the state retirement board makes him the best fit to become the next state treasurer.   

Some Republicans are angry with a concert poster by iconic rock band Pearl Jam.

It’s an absurdist cartoon featuring an apocalyptic scene with an eagle picking at the skeleton of President Donald Trump, a UFO and Montana’s Democratic U.S. Senator Jon Tester flying a tractor over a burning White House.

U.S. Air Force

Historic church bells seized in the Philippine-American War and brought back to the Mountain West may soon head back home. But Wyoming's delegation is not happy with the possible move across the ocean.

The 2018 midterms could be the year of the woman and possibly the independent as well - especially in Colorado.

lelandforwyoming.com

Republican state senator Leland Christensen of Alta is running for Wyoming Treasurer. He does not have a background in finance, but said the treasury staff is highly skilled, and that he would act more as a manager of people. Previous treasurers have also entered the position without a finance background.  

Even in traditionally Republican strongholds, Democrats are doing really well in primaries across the Mountain West.

But high voter turnout in primaries doesn’t necessarily indicate a blue wave will sweep across the Rocky Mountains this November.

taylorhaynesforgovernor.com

A Wyoming judge has denied a state request to force Republican candidate for Governor, Taylor Haynes, to stop his campaign and withdraw.   

Medicine Bow-Routt National Forest

Fires continue to burn in many parts of the west and officials are bracing for a long, grueling and even deadlier fire season than they’re used to. Wyoming Senator John Barrasso chairs the Environment Committee where he oversees the nation’s forests.   

Charlie Hardy

Longtime political candidate Charlie Hardy is taking another run at public office. Hardy, who’s run as an independent and a Democrat is now running against Senator John Barrasso as a Republican. Hardy is someone who says he doesn’t believe in political parties, but he always considered himself an Eisenhower Republican and that’s why he says he’s suited for this race. He speaks with Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck. 

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